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  1. #1
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    Default I need pack help!

    I have always just been a day hiker and wanted to upgrade my pack as I plan to do the Long Trail this summer. I just got the 2018 Osprey Aura 50 and I hate it! The hip belt cuts into my hips and I can't get the shoulder straps to adjust properly. I have watched endless videos and nothing is working. I think it just doesn't fit my body properly, I have wide hips and a long torso for my height. I am going to return it, but now I don't know what to do. Can someone suggest a lightweight pack that will be comfortable in the summer heat and in the rain in Vermont? I was looking at the zpack arc blast since I really like the idea of having air flow as I sweat a lot and will be hiking mostly in July and August. However, I am really nervous about ordering such an expensive pack without being able to try it on. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. If it matters my base weight - minus the back - is currently 11.5 lbs.

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    Who told you you couldnt return a pack you buy mailorder to try?

  3. #3

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    Might be worth a ride down to Manchester Center and visit the EMS there. See if they have a Aura 50 on the rack and have them fit it. Or bring yours, they probably be happy to help even if you didn't buy it there. At the vary least, you can try on different packs to see how they fit.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Might be worth a ride down to Manchester Center and visit the EMS there. See if they have a Aura 50 on the rack and have them fit it. Or bring yours, they probably be happy to help even if you didn't buy it there. At the vary least, you can try on different packs to see how they fit.
    Ahmeyer go to an outfitter like EMS and get properly measured and fitted or you will be ordering and returning over and over. Everyone here will have a suggestion as to what which pack is more comfortable, I fit packs everyday, there isn't a one fits all. A pack that fits me and is comfortable for me might not fit or be comfortable for you. Try on different packs with weight, take your own gear, wear the packs in the store for 15-20 min or more, you'll soon know if it's right for you or not.

  5. #5

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    ZPacks has a return policy of 30 days so you can order it and try it and return it if necessary. I know of almost no one who doesn't like the Arc line-up. I have the dyneema version as I wanted a slightly tougher pack with very little weight penalty. I love it but I am also very boney and had to build my own lumbar pad for some cushion at the back...everyone else finds the ZPacks extra lumbar pad perfectly adequate.

  6. #6
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
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    Fit is more important than brand. As the others have said, go to a shop with professionals who know how to properly fit a backpack. It makes all the difference. If they won't help fit your own pack, they might have the same model and could possibly show you how to ajust it. Sometimes management won't allow staff to help with products bought elsewhere, but in my experience staff usually do their best to help.

  7. #7
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    I'm sorry - I should have clarified in my original post that the Osprey was fit to me at a shop. I wore it around with weight and thought it would work but when I wear it for longer than two hours I can't stand it. That is why I was looking at light weight alternatives that aren't available in REI type stores. Mostly I am just looking to see if there are cottage brands that have pretty good reviews. Since I don't have a lot of experience Zpacks is really the only one I have come across so I was wondering if there are others that people are happy with.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmeyer View Post
    I'm sorry - I should have clarified in my original post that the Osprey was fit to me at a shop. I wore it around with weight and thought it would work but when I wear it for longer than two hours I can't stand it. That is why I was looking at light weight alternatives that aren't available in REI type stores. Mostly I am just looking to see if there are cottage brands that have pretty good reviews. Since I don't have a lot of experience Zpacks is really the only one I have come across so I was wondering if there are others that people are happy with.
    Fitting a pack isnt hard.
    But...conventional packs are different than light weight.
    Id say on ALL light wt packs, you dont want straps to wrap the shoulders.
    Have strap attachment even with top of shoulders, when belt is supporting wt. Then on some, like ULA circuit, you shape the stay to your back for best comfort.

    Gossamer gear, six moon designs, ula, zpacks, chris zimmer, KS ultralight, mld all make good gear. Slightly different, but good.

    But the overriding thing to remember, is a conventional pack will feel lighter, than an overloaded lightweight pack. Stay at least 5-10 lbs UNDER whatever a mfg says their max is for best results. And normal should be less than that.

    The absolute best place to try packs, is at home.
    (Just like shoes!!!)
    Load up, practice loading different ways
    Walk around
    Compare side by side
    Take hrs if you need
    A clear winner will emerge

    Yeah,you will spend $20 a pop return shipping
    $40-$80.....Small price to pay get the best pack for you
    Changing later costs much more.

    Where you think the hikers getting new packs in towns all the way up to damascus got their original packs from? A lot from..... REI.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-05-2018 at 22:05.

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Give ULA a chance and a call. Ask them how to measure you for their packs. You can specify hip belt and pack frame size separately. Ask for the S-shape shoulder pads. I had a Catalyst briefly and liked it a lot. Then my granddaughter talked me out of it. She likes it too.
    Good luck.
    Wayne

  10. #10
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    +1 on what Wayne said. ULA is a great company to deal with on fitting issues.
    Blackheart

  11. #11

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    I believe Ula has some videos out there showing you the fit of their packs.
    I don't ever think I've seen them specifically say to bend the stay of circuit to match your back
    But it makes a tremendous difference if you do

    Match the curve in the small of the back
    Bend it out away from the tailbone a little so it doesn't dig into your butt
    Bend it out away from the shoulder blades a little at the top as well
    And the pack will ride right in the small of your back

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I believe Ula has some videos out there showing you the fit of their packs.
    I don't ever think I've seen them specifically say to bend the stay of circuit to match your back
    But it makes a tremendous difference if you do

    Match the curve in the small of the back
    Bend it out away from the tailbone a little so it doesn't dig into your butt
    Bend it out away from the shoulder blades a little at the top as well
    And the pack will ride right in the small of your back
    I never could get mine bent right. I really didn't like the ULA Circuit for me...the Arc Haul was and is a better fit for my body

  13. #13
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I believe Ula has some videos out there showing you the fit of their packs.
    I don't ever think I've seen them specifically say to bend the stay of circuit to match your back
    But it makes a tremendous difference if you do

    Match the curve in the small of the back
    Bend it out away from the tailbone a little so it doesn't dig into your butt
    Bend it out away from the shoulder blades a little at the top as well
    And the pack will ride right in the small of your back
    Back in the Land Before Time, my Dana Design internal frame pack arrived with instructions for reshaping the primary stay that followed the users spine.
    Everything old is new again.
    Wayne

  14. #14
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    Iíll second giving ULA a call, especially if youíre hoping to avoid spending cuben fiber money.

    Theyíre really easy to work with and theyíll help find a good size for you. A little over a year ago I talked with a lady who was torn between sizes and Chris over at ULA sent her two after she paid for one so she could return which one didnít fit. Great people to work with.

    Gossamer Gear has some good options as well.


    This might be a strange suggestion, but did you try on any menís ospreys?

  15. #15
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    Follow up - thank you everyone who gave me advice. After thinking about it I went to a different shop, one that is a little more focused on actual hiking, and tried on everything they had. Turns out I really don't like anything with a "trampoline" back, ie. Osprey Eja, Aura, Lumina, Zpacks, etc. I ended up with a HMG Windrider and it's snug and super comfortable. It is exactly the opposite of what I thought I would want, so to everyone who said you need to find what works for you and not rely on other peoples opinion - you could not be more right!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmeyer View Post
    Follow up - thank you everyone who gave me advice. After thinking about it I went to a different shop, one that is a little more focused on actual hiking, and tried on everything they had. Turns out I really don't like anything with a "trampoline" back, ie. Osprey Eja, Aura, Lumina, Zpacks, etc. I ended up with a HMG Windrider and it's snug and super comfortable. It is exactly the opposite of what I thought I would want, so to everyone who said you need to find what works for you and not rely on other peoples opinion - you could not be more right!
    Exactly...and I am the complete opposite...I hate anything that doesn't have the air mesh like the Exos and the Arc Haul. I hated the ULA Circuit for that reason...or one of the reasons...but so many people love it

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    Exactly...and I am the complete opposite...I hate anything that doesn't have the air mesh like the Exos and the Arc Haul. I hated the ULA Circuit for that reason...or one of the reasons...but so many people love it
    Isn't it funny how that works. I was 100% sure I wanted air mesh or some kind of ventilation, and now it turns out like a snug fit against my back. Who knew! Proof that we should all figure out what we like personally and not listen to fit advice from others. Where I think advice from others is advantageous is less personal gear, stoves and what not!

  18. #18
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Glad you found what you needed. Just goes to show that you have to get what works for you.
    Blackheart

  19. #19

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    I think advice from others is still important even when it comes to things like backpacks because there are products out the the general public may not know about and isn't in stores...but in the end fit is personal.

  20. #20

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    Never say you don't want back ventilation till you hike AT in june on a 95 degree day

    Entire pack will be wet from back sweat wicking. There will be salt in the fabric. Rodents love salt . Gnaw gnaw gnaw

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